Face Coverings: Reopen Essentials

June 5, 2020     |    

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing (standing six feet or more apart) measures are difficult to maintain, such as grocery stores, pharmacies, and gas stations. What about work? As states in the U.S. begin reopening, many workers who have been under stay-at-home orders are returning to the workplace. That considered, ensuring measures are in place to prevent additional spread of COVID-19 are necessary. According to the CDC, “we now know from recent studies that a significant portion of individuals with coronavirus lack symptoms (“asymptomatic”) and that even those who eventually develop symptoms (“pre-symptomatic”) can transmit the virus to others before showing symptoms. This means that the virus can spread between people interacting in close proximity—for example, speaking, coughing, or sneezing—even if those people are not exhibiting symptoms.” Is your company prepared by CDC standards to reopen and keep your team safe? 

Social distancing combined with the proper use of personal protective equipment (PPE) – like cloth face coverings – is highly recommended to contain the spread of COVID-19.

“COVID-19 spreads mainly from person to person through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs,” states the CDC. The CDC also notes that cloth face coverings may prevent those who may have the virus from transmitting it to others.

How do they work?

Face coverings provide a protective barrier to help prevent respiratory droplets from traveling in the air and onto other people. By wearing a mask at work, you protect your coworkers and their families from possibly contracting the virus.

Here’s what to do:

  • Wear a face covering to help protect others in case you’re infected but don’t have symptoms.
  • Keep the covering on your face the entire time you are in public.
  • Don’t put the covering around your neck or up on your forehead
  • Don’t touch the face covering, and, if you do, wash your hands.

Where do I find them?


If you don’t have the time to DIY your own collection of masks, have no fear. There are many options available for purchase.


If you are a DIYer, there are quite a few opportunities to make your own face covering from household items. Make these masks using a variety of fabrics and items of clothing, including sew and no-sew options.


A tightly woven cotton fabric is most suitable, but research on various fibers, including cotton, silk, chiffon, flannel, and various synthetics, showed that a combination of different fabrics was most effective.

  1. Cut out two 10-by-six-inch rectangles of fabric. Stack the two rectangles; you will sew the mask as if it was a single piece of fabric.
  2. Fold over the long sides ¼ inch and hem. Then fold the double layer of fabric over ½ inch along the short sides and stitch down.
  3. Run a six-inch length of 1/8-inch-wide elastic through the wider hem on each side of the mask. These will be the ear loops. Use a large needle or a bobby pin to thread it through. Tie the ends tightly. Don’t have elastic? Use hair ties or elastic head bands. If you only have string, you can make the ties longer and tie the mask behind your head.
  4. Gently pull on the elastic so that the knots are tucked inside the hem. Gather the sides of the mask on the elastic and adjust so the mask fits your face. Then securely stitch the elastic in place to keep it from slipping. 

How do I wear a face covering?

  1. Wash your hands before putting on your face covering.
  2. Ensure it covers your nose and mouth, securely fitting under your chin.
  3. Try to fit it snugly against the sides of your face.
  4. Make sure you can breathe easily.

How should I take it off?

  1. Untie the strings behind your head or stretch the ear loops
  2. Handle only by the ear loops or ties
  3. Fold outside corners together
  4. Place covering in the washing machine
  5. Be careful not to touch your eyes, nose, and mouth when removing and wash hands immediately after removing.

Learn more about how to wash cloth face coverings.

We’re here for you – to assist in re-entering the workplace safely one day at a time and connecting you to the resources you need. For more information, visit nationalchamberprogram.com/signup